The best way to fuel your body is to be consuming good nutrients throughout the day. With meals generally spaced 4-6 hours apart snacking is a pretty major part of your eating life. Many people, especially adults with busy schedules, will either avoid snacking altogether or snack on the highly-processed, high-sugar, and low-nutrient-content food out of convenience and simply not knowing any better, or just not taking into account the major drawbacks of poor snacking habits. The best solution to body-damaging snacking – in a nutshell is to…
…prepare ahead of time.
Follow these guidelines for energy boosting, body-building, and mood enhancing snacks that will be a positive influence for you and everyone else in your life:
1. Only buy packaged snacks after you have looked at the ingredient list and determined that there are no added preservatives, sugar, artificial flavors or any long ingredient names that you can’t pronounce or aren’t familiar with. A general rule is that anything with more than 5 ingredients is not likely to be a great choice either.
2. Eat raw and fresh produce whenever possible. Consuming mostly organic is a good rule as well, but since price is certainly a factor for some, try to at least get the organic fruits and vegetables on the list below that are most effected by pesticides.
If you would like a handy chart for your fridge and wallet you can get this one-pager HERE.
It provides you with the list of what to buy organic and what fruits and vegetables are safe to buy conventional.
3. Get creative with your snacking. Cook up some healthy recipes and separate into snack size servings so they are ready to munch on at a moment’s notice or grab on the way out the door.
4. Are you a chip fanatic? Resist the conventional potato chips that are high in salt and deep fried. You’ll be amazed at how tasty and crunchy your own homemade potato chips are! Thinly slice one simple potato (best done with a slicing blade in a hand slicer or food processor to make appropriately thin) and place a batch in between 2 pieces of parchment paper in the microwave. Season with a sprinkle of salt or other herbs and cook for 5-7 minutes, until they are lightly browned.
5. Fancy up your fruits and vegetables with savory dips and tangy sauces. This will provide lots of variety along with a treat for your sweet tooth. Make your own so you can control what’s in them. Peanut butter (with just peanuts), slightly heated is tasty treat with various fruits and vegetables.
6. Keep a supply of natural raw nuts around you all the time. Don’t worry about the fat content in nuts, it’s the good fat your body soaks up and uses to your benefit. You can be more concerned about over consuming high-carb foods like wheat products, potatoes and rice. Plus, nuts are packed with protein, antioxidants and the body friendly fat: omega-3 fatty acids!
7. Dedicate your snacking to fruits and vegetables. Many people find it difficult to consume the required amount of fruits and vegetables the body craves to function at its peak performance. Make one of your goals to only snack on fruit and vegetable based snacks.